7.4/10
13,022
90 user 58 critic

Richard III (1995)

The classic Shakespearean play about a murderously scheming King staged in an alternative fascist England setting.

Director:

Richard Loncraine
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Al Pacino's deeply-felt rumination on Shakespeare's significance and relevance to the modern world through interviews and an in-depth analysis of "Richard III."

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Bowen ... Prince Edward
Edward Jewesbury ... King Henry
Ian McKellen ... Richard III
Bill Paterson ... Ratcliffe
Annette Bening ... Queen Elizabeth
Matthew Groom Matthew Groom ... Young Prince
John Wood ... King Edward
Nigel Hawthorne ... Clarence
Maggie Smith ... Duchess of York
Kate Steavenson-Payne ... Princess Elizabeth
Robert Downey Jr. ... Rivers
Tres Hanley ... Air Hostess
Tim McInnerny ... Catesby
Stacey Kent Stacey Kent ... Ballroom Singer
Jim Carter ... Lord William Hastings
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Storyline

William Shakespeare's classic play is brought into the present with the setting as Great Britian in the 1930s. Civil war has erupted with the House of Lancaster on one side, claiming the right to the British throne and hoping to bring freedom to the country. Opposing is the House of York, commanded by the infamous Richard who rules over a fascist government and hopes to install himself as a dictator monarch. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fascist | dog | tank | battle | widow | See All (45) »

Taglines:

I can smile, and murder while I smile See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 December 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ricardo III See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$91,915, 1 January 1996

Gross USA:

$2,684,904

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,748,518
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Gloucester's black uniform is actually the tunic of an S.S.-Oberst-Gruppenführer (Colonel General), minus the swastika insignia. See more »

Goofs

This is not a historical drama, nor a biopic. It is an allegory which mixes and unsolved murders from the 1480s with costumes and customs from the 1930s, to make an artistic statement about the similarities between these two eras. While the movie portrays several historical figures, they are not intended to perfectly resemble their real-life counterparts, and their words and actions are never claimed to be what the real people said and did. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prince of Wales: Goodnight Father.
King Henry: Goodnight son.
Prince of Wales: Goodnight your majesty.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK (video) release has the cast credits in order of appearance. See more »

Connections

Version of Ricardo III (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Come Live With Me
Paraphrased from "The Passionate Shepherd to his Love,(1599)" by Christopher Marlowe
Performed by Stacey Kent and Vile Bodies
Music composed by Trevor Jones
Arranged by Colin Good
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shakespearean tragedy in 1940s Europe
13 March 2006 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

This film sets Shakespeare's Richard III in an alternative to WWII era England, where fascists and royalists maintain their own militias and play power games with kings and thrones. The first scene sets the tone for the entire film. A young officer is settling down to dinner with his dog chewing on a bone nearby. The building begins to shake and a low rumbling is heard. Soon enough, a tank erupts through the fireplace and stormtroopers charge in automatic rifles ablaze. Ian McKellan removes his gas mask and spouts a few lines of Shakespearean dialog.

The action and the intrigue never really let up, as the film follows Richard's (McKellan) rise to infamy and power. Neither does the Shakespearean dialog. Somehow the cast manages to make the dialog fit the action and setting effortlessly.

Richard III is jarringly strange - perhaps the most innovative of the recent Shakespeare updates - very well acted and directed. Although I recommend the film, I have to warn you - it's not for everyone.


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